Leggi questo post in Italiano

Color is among the characteristics that we all notice immediately. A visual perception that never ceases to fascinate full of artistic, sociological and psychological values.

From optics to chemistry, art and philosophy, 15 books to discover everything about color and its meanings.

The selection is made in collaboration with the textile designer Silvia Stella Osella, here you can find some of the books she mentioned during our Instagram direct that you can find here as an interview.


A Dictionary of Color Combinations

348 unusual and very modern color combinations even if they’re directly from the 30s! This book is from the six-volumes research of Sanzo Wada, artist, teacher and designer, one of the most interesting protagonists of the Japanese artistic avant-garde in the ’30s.


Why do yellow pencils sell more than others? Why there isn’t any green in Mondrian’s paintings? And why does Hitchcock use it in abundance instead? Many stories and curiosities about colors not only in art, but also literature, cinema, comics and everyday objects.

The Secret Lives of Colors

The book is a collection of fascinating anecdotes related to 75 shades, from white to black, Kassia St. Clair explores etymologies and tells curiosities, with interesting references to science, art, history and much more.

The Anatomy of Colour

The historian and color expert Patrick Baty tells the evolution of pigments and color classification systems from 1650 to 1960, and their impact on the color palettes used in  interior design.

Color. A biography

Colors through the fundamental stages of its history, from mineral pigments to organic dyes, up to chemistry and chromatic language and its meanings.

Josef Albers, Interaction of Color

A masterpiece of art education, a super classic first published in the United States in 1963. Conceived as a manual for artists, teachers and students, it is a summary of the Josef Albers’ lessons at Yale University in the 1950s.
Recently the University of Yale has also transformed it into an app with video content and live interaction: http://yupnet.org/interactionofcolor/ Available only for iPad.

Yellow. The history of a color

Michel Pastoureau, it is a true authority speaking of color, he wrote many books about colors, further yellow there is also “Blue”, “Green”, “Red” and “Black”, about the evolution of how colors were perceived in the various historical periods, curiosities and anecdotes. 

Chromaphilia: The Story of Colour in Art

240 works of art through the history and meaning of colors.

The Designer’s Dictionary of Color

Warm, cold, neutral colors, range and palette variations… a book for professionals but also color enthusiasts to discover technical information but also history and meanings of colors.

Hella Jongerius, I don’t have a favorite color

Published in 2016 for the Vitra Fuorisalone event, this book tells the story about the world of colors of Hella Jongerius, she has been the Art Director for colours and materials at Vitra for many years. Today, unfortunately is a hard to find book.